Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions & comparisons:

What Type Of Therapist Do You Need?
There are many types of licensed mental health professionals, differing in educational backgrounds, training, licensure, philosophy, and technique.
- Psychiatrists are medical doctors and can prescribe medication. Very few psychiatrists also provide psychotherapy but usually refer to and work in conjunction with other psychotherapists.
- Psychologists usually have a Doctorate in Psychology and have completed an internship under supervision.
- Clinical Social Workers typically have a Master’s degree in Social Work and have completed a supervised internship.
- Marriage and Family Therapists typically have a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and have completed a supervised internship.
- Counselors usually have a Master’s degree in Counseling and have completed an internship under supervision.

The Therapy Office utilizes an SSL Secure Server to transmit your registration information and also when needed insurance information.  This type of encryption technology is extremely secure and other correspondence is as private as sending e-mail.
The on-line therapy services we offer are bound by the confidentiality laws of the State of California, so you can be assured that your private information will not be shared with anyone (there are exceptions, however – please see the policy section) once it is received by our office. When someone else finds out that you are engaging in online counseling, it is most likely because of revealing circumstances on your part – such as if you share your computer with another person, if you type in the wrong email address, etc.

The Therapy Office goes to great lengths to protect your confidentiality, and every effort will be made to make Internet counseling as private and secure as possible, but information transmitted over the Internet cannot be guaranteed to be completely confidential.

What do I do if I am in the middle of a crisis?
If you are currently in the middle of a crisis then contacting us on-line is not going to be effective. What you should do is pick up the phone and call us. We will be able to fit you into our schedule based on how urgent your crisis is. We have included links for your use that can be accessed through this website or phone numbers that you can call for help. If this is an emergency then you should call 911 immediately.

Do I need Counseling?
Although one American in five has a diagnosable psychological problem, nearly two thirds never seek treatment, according to the 1999 Surgeon General’s Report on Mental Health. This is mostly because seeking psychological help is often a source of embarrassment and shame. If you feel that way, typing your problems to a faceless stranger in the comfort of your own home may feel more private and safe than venturing into a therapist’s office.

Will we be able to help?
Life happens to all of us, at one point or another we need to seek help in order to be able to regain control of our lives to be productive again. The problems you are dealing with are not new and have been experienced by other people before you. The importance is that your problems are unique to you and you need to find a solution that you will feel comfortable living with. Any time there is a big change in you’re your life you will see that your reaction may not be as it has been in the past, in that instance you need to decide if this is a problem that you need help working through or if it is something that you can handle on your own. Needing help does not mean there is something wrong with you. In fact it symbolizes that you are ready to deal with and move through your problems.

What should I expect from therapy?

Many of us enter therapy hoping to get some quick relief from the distress that we are experiencing. We are aware that therapy is costing us a lot in terms of time, money, and energy and we want to see some immediate results, especially when we are in pain. It is important that you talk with your therapist about your expectations and needs from therapy. Just like any relationship, the more you know and can express what you want, the better chance you will have of receiving that. You may be entering therapy for the first time and not have a sense of what needs to happen other than you want to feel better. It is important to express this as well.

Here is a list of what we have seen to be true for the first time and not have a sense of what needs to happen other than you want to feel better. It is important to express this as well. It takes time to establish a trusting relationship with a therapist.
- It is important to go at your own pace and not overwhelm yourself.
- We all resist change. Don’t be surprised if you are tempted to quit right before some real changes or breakthroughs are about to happen.
- Becoming more healthy and balanced can feel very unfamiliar and uncomfortable at first.
- Being committed to therapy will change your life. Be prepared to feel some loss from this
- Others may resist your changes and growth and will need time to adapt.
- Therapy is hard work.
- Your therapist is not perfect and will make mistakes. Hopefully he or she will acknowledge and take responsibility for those mistakes.
- Some therapy is short term (usually focusing on one issue and situational) and other therapy may be longer term (more than one or complex issues.)

What Are Some Questions You May Want To Ask?
It is important to get as much information about a therapist as possible before entering into a therapeutic relationship with him or her. Remember, you will be sharing very personal information with your therapist so it will need to be an individual you have confidence in and can connect with. It’s OK to interview a therapist, either in a phone conversation or in a first session, so that you can obtain the necessary information to make a well-informed decision. Here are examples of some of the types of questions you may want to ask:
- What are your credentials and training?
- What are your areas of expertise and specialization?
- What specific training do you have in your areas of specialization?
- Are you on the provider list for my insurance plan? (See section on insurance for more detailed information)
- What is your standard fee? How long are sessions? Do you have a sliding fee scale? Are fees different for individual, couples, or group therapy?
- How many clients have you worked with that have had similar issues to mine? How did you work with them and how did it help?
- Are you in good standing with your licensing board? Has anyone ever made a complaint against you? If so, how was it resolved?
- Do you receive your own supervision, consultation, or therapy from a professional?
- Where did you go to graduate school and where did you do your internship?
- How long have you been in private practice?
- What are your beliefs about how therapy should work? What do you do during sessions and what do you expect from a client during and between sessions?
- How can I contact you in an emergency?

How Will I Know If This Person Is The Right Therapist For Me?
After getting all the information and talking with several professionals, you will need to make a decision. Sometimes it is best to get a referral from a friend or family member that you trust. This is not always the best source, because what works for you does not always work for other people. At this point the best advice is to trust your feelings. It is important that you work with a therapist who is qualified to help you in your particular area of need and that it be an individual with whom you feel safe, can talk easily, and a person you feel you can learn to trust.

What is online therapy?
Online therapy is clinical work done via email or chat between a patient, (the client), and a therapist (the counselor). Although online therapy sessions may resemble face-to-face counseling in some of the issues and methods used, some professionals are adamant about the distinction.

Weighing the pros and cons of on-line therapy:
In addition to being anonymous, the main appeal of e-therapy is its convenience: being able to send and receive messages at any time of day or night; never having to leave messages with intermediaries; and avoiding voice mail and telephone tag.
Another plus of online therapy is that email allows both the patient and the mental health professional to fully reflect on issues discussed in a previous correspondence before responding. It also gives both the patient and counselor an ongoing written record of communications.

Potential risks of participating in online therapy include email messages not being received and confidentiality being breached by online hackers, Internet service providers, or at either end by anyone with access to the email account or the computer.

I see you offer on-line services, what does that entail?
The procedure for getting started is as simple as filling out the form on the next page and e-mailing it to the therapist in charge. Dr. Marotta will review the information you provided and at that point e-mail you to initiate sessions. At that time you will be contacted to set up your initial face-to-face contact with on of our therapists. After we have established a positive therapy relationship, then we can move onto a computer based therapy session. The time to determine this will be once we have decided whether or not this would be effective for you. This decision will be made on a case-to-case basis by the therapist and client.